Candidates in most local races have avoided the casino issue, citing Gov. George Pataki’s Gaming Compact as if it were more sacred than the Bill of Rights that we’ve finally disposed of in this country.

So, like one of those barges loaded with garbage from New York City that every now and then sail up and down the East coast looking for a harbor, the Seneca Tribal Council is keeping the wheel spinning and everyone guessing where it will finally make a landfall. Will it be across from an elementary school or on top of a landfill? Round and round it goes.

One source who requested anonymity has informed Alt that negotiations have begun again, in earnest, for the Statler Towers in downtown Buffalo. Clearly, a world-class metropolis such as Buffalo deserves two casinos to better serve the booming tourism trade that hasn’t quite started booming yet. So casino opponents should keep their eyes on the Radisson Hotel directly across from the airport in the soon-to-be renamed Town of Cheektovegas. The Radisson was bought out of bankruptcy by LaSalle National Bank, a subsidiary of ABN-AMRO of the Netherlands.

What bank wouldn’t want to have a piece of a casino on sovereign land directly across from an airport? Sounds like a great investment! Given the shady characters associated with the Seneca Tribal Council and its associates in the Mohawk Warrior Society (the group that received a cash award from Libyan terrorist supporter Moamar Ghadafyi), we thought that we’d take a look at ABN/LaSalle. Al Queda operative and Sufi cleric Shamim Sarwar told India Today that he used an ABN account to fund a thwarted attempt to blow up the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. Also, ABN is one of the main banks that the bin Laden family does business with. To be fair to ABN, however, the bin Ladens' web of connections also involve other powerful parties, such as Citigroup, the Carlyle Group, and the Bush family.

Still, even without a bin Laden conspiracy theory, an ABN/LaSalle casino offers unique amenities for the quick, discreet transfer of cash. In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company, a Seneca Tribal Councilor made it clear that he felt that it was his right to transport anything he wanted to between reservations. So why not locate a new reservation/casino right next to the airport? “I happen to think that the area around the airport is a great location,” Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Dennis Gabryszak told Alt in an interview earlier this summer, “You have a thruway exit there, you have the 33, you have Genesee Street and Transit Road. So, just in terms of traffic movement, you have a lot of convenience. In terms of established traffic patterns, there’s really no residential area nearby, so the impact on a neighborhood or residential neighborhood is almost non-existent.” Indeed, convenience is key. Gabryszak had also mentioned that he had heard that LaSalle had sold the property to a group out of New York City, but no sale has been registered with Erie County as of our press deadline. Numerous potential sites have been bandied about for the next Western New York casino/money laundromat. Speculation about location serves to obfuscate the real issue: whether this community has the right to decide for itself whether it wants a Buffalo-area casino or not.